X-FAB reduces flicker noise ten fold with ultra-low-noise 180nm CMOS transistors 

November 29, 2017 // By Julien Happich
X-FAB has expanded its low-noise transistor portfolio with three new transistors: a 1.8V low-noise NMOS, a 3.3V low-noise NMOS and a 3.3V low-noise PMOS, all based on the foundry's proprietary 180nm XH018 mixed-signal CMOS technology and exhibiting drastically reduced flicker noise compared to standard CMOS offerings.

Flicker noise, also known as 1/f noise, is the dominant noise at low frequencies, between 1Hz to 1MHz. For applications working in this spectrum, it is important that the flicker noise is kept to a minimal level.

These transistors are mainly designed for sensor deployments which require very low-noise signal amplification to achieve high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Among the key target applications are analog and digital microphone amplifiers, which are widely used in mobile phones and headsets, as well as implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers.

The new 1.8 V low-noise NMOS transistor delivers an improvement factor of eight times lower flicker noise compared to the standard XH018 device. The 3.3V low-noise NMOS transistor gives up to ten times lower flicker noise, while the flicker noise for the 3.3V low-noise PMOS transistor that complements it is halved for all drain currents.

The new 180 nm low-noise CMOS transistors, integrated within the XH018 process design kit (PDK), are available immediately for new designs. Noise parameters are included within the device models to facilitate an accurate simulation of the noise behaviour of a circuit, before it is actually implemented.

X-FAB -  www.xfab.com